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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1301

Basics Glossary 3.1 In

Basics Glossary 3.1 In bioplastics MAGAZINE again and again the same expressions appear that some of our readers might not (yet) be familiar with. This glossary shall help with these terms and shall help avoid repeated explanations Bioplastics (as defined by European Bioplastics e.V.) is a term used to define two different kinds of plastics: a. Plastics based on → renewable resources (the focus is the origin of the raw material used). These can be biodegradable or not. b. → Biodegradable and → compostable plastics according to EN13432 or similar standards (the focus is the compostability of the final product; biodegradable and compostable plastics can be based on renewable (biobased) and/or non-renewable (fossil) resources). Bioplastics may be - based on renewable resources and biodegradable; - based on renewable resources but not be biodegradable; and - based on fossil resources and biodegradable. Aerobic - anaerobic | aerobic = in the presence of oxygen (e.g. in composting) | anaerobic = without oxygen being present (e.g. in biogasification, anaerobic digestion) [bM 06/09] Anaerobic digestion | conversion of organic waste into bio-gas. Other than in → composting in anaerobic degradation there is no oxygen present. In bio-gas plants for example, this type of degradation leads to the production of methane that can be captured in a controlled way and used for energy generation. [14] [bM 06/09] Amorphous | non-crystalline, glassy with unordered lattice Amylopectin | Polymeric branched starch molecule with very high molecular weight (biopolymer, monomer is → Glucose) [bM 05/09] Amylose | Polymeric non-branched starch molecule with high molecular weight (biopolymer, monomer is → Glucose) [bM 05/09] Biobased plastic/polymer | A plastic/polymer in which constitutional units are totally or in part from → biomass [3]. If this claim is used, a percentage should always be given to which extent the product/material is → biobased [1] [bM 01/07, bM 03/10] updated such as ‘PLA (Polylactide)‘ in various articles. Since this Glossary will not be printed in each issue you can download a pdf version from our website bioplastics MAGAZINE is grateful to European Bioplastics for the permission to use parts of their Glossary (see [1]) Readers who would like to suggest better or other explanations to be added to the list, please contact the editor. [*: bM ... refers to more comprehensive article previously published in bioplastics MAGAZINE) Biobased | The term biobased describes the part of a material or product that is stemming from → biomass. When making a biobasedclaim, the unit (→ biobased carbon content, → biobased mass content), a percentage and the measuring method should be clearly stated [1] Biobased carbon | carbon contained in or stemming from → biomass. A material or product made of fossil and → renewable resources contains fossil and → biobased carbon. The 14 C method [4, 5] measures the amount of biobased carbon in the material or product as fraction weight (mass) or percent weight (mass) of the total organic carbon content [1] [6] Biobased mass content | describes the amount of biobased mass contained in a material or product. This method is complementary to the 14 C method, and furthermore, takes other chemical elements besides the biobased carbon into account, such as oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen. A measuring method is currently being developed and tested by the Association Chimie du Végétal (ACDV) [1] Biodegradable Plastics | Biodegradable Plastics are plastics that are completely assimilated by the → microorganisms present a defined environment as food for their energy. The carbon of the plastic must completely be converted into CO 2 during the microbial process. The process of biodegradation depends on the environmental conditions, which influence it (e.g. location, temperature, humidity) and on the material or application itself. Consequently, the process and its outcome can vary considerably. Biodegradability is linked to the structure of the polymer chain; it does not depend on the origin of the raw materials. There is currently no single, overarching standard to back up claims about biodegradability. As the sole claim of biodegradability without any additional specifications is vague, it should not be used in communications. If it is used, additional surveys/tests (e.g. timeframe or environment (soil, sea)) should be added to substantiate this claim [1]. One standard for example is ISO or in Europe: EN 14995 Plastics- Evaluation of compostability - Test scheme and specifications [bM 02/06, bM 01/07] Biomass | Material of biological origin excluding material embedded in geological formations and material transformed to fossilised material. This includes organic material, e.g. trees, crops, grasses, tree litter, algae and waste of biological origin, e.g. manure [1, 2] Blend | Mixture of plastics, polymer alloy of at least two microscopically dispersed and molecularly distributed base polymers Bisphenol-A (BPA) | Monomer used to produce different polymers. BPA is said to cause health problems, due to the fact that is behaves like a hormone. Therefore it is banned for use in children’s products in many countries. BPI | Biodegradable Products Institute, a notfor-profit association. Through their innovative compostable label program, BPI educates manufacturers, legislators and consumers about the importance of scientifically based standards for compostable materials which biodegrade in large composting facilities. Carbon footprint | (CFPs resp. PCFs – Product Carbon Footprint): Sum of → greenhouse gas emissions and removals in a product system, expressed as CO 2 equivalent, and based on a → life cycle assessment. The CO 2 equivalent of a specific amount of a greenhouse gas is calculated as the mass of a given greenhouse gas multiplied by its → global warmingpotential [1, 2] Carbon neutral, CO 2 neutral | Carbon neutral describes a product or process that has a negligible impact on total atmospheric CO 2 levels. For example, carbon neutrality means that any CO 2 released when a plant decomposes or is burnt is offset by an equal amount of CO 2 absorbed by the plant through photosynthesis when it is growing. Carbon neutrality can also be achieved through buying sufficient carbon credits to make up the difference. The latter option is not allowed when communicating → LCAs or carbon footprints regarding a material or product [1, 2]. Carbon-neutral claims are tricky as products will not in most cases reach carbon neutrality if their complete life cycle is taken into consideration (including the end-of life). If an assessment of a material, however, is conducted (cradle to gate), carbon neutrality might be a valid claim in a B2B context. In this case, the unit assessed in the complete life cycle has to be clarified [1] Catalyst | substance that enables and accelerates a chemical reaction Cellophane | Clear film on the basis of → cellulose [bM 01/10] Cellulose | Cellulose is the principal component of cell walls in all higher forms of plant life, at varying percentages. It is therefore the most common organic compound and also the most common polysaccharide (multisugar) [11]. C. is a polymeric molecule with very high molecular weight (monomer is → Glucose), industrial production from wood or cotton, to manufacture paper, plastics and fibres [bM 01/10] Cellulose ester| Cellulose esters occur by the esterification of cellulose with organic acids. The most important cellulose esters from a technical point of view are cellulose acetate 50 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/13] Vol. 8

Basics (CA with acetic acid), cellulose propionate (CP with propionic acid) and cellulose butyrate (CB with butanoic acid). Mixed polymerisates, such as cellulose acetate propionate (CAP) can also be formed. One of the most well-known applications of cellulose aceto butyrate (CAB) is the moulded handle on the Swiss army knife [11] Cellulose acetate CA| → Cellulose ester CEN | Comité Européen de Normalisation (European organisation for standardization) Compost | A soil conditioning material of decomposing organic matter which provides nutrients and enhances soil structure. [bM 06/08, 02/09] Compostable Plastics | Plastics that are → biodegradable under ‘composting’ conditions: specified humidity, temperature, → microorganisms and timefame. In order to make accurate and specific claims about compostability, the location (home, → industrial) and timeframe need to be specified [1]. Several national and international standards exist for clearer definitions, for example EN 14995 Plastics - Evaluation of compostability - Test scheme and specifications. [bM 02/06, bM 01/07] Composting | A solid waste management technique that uses natural process to convert organic materials to CO 2 , water and humus through the action of → microorganisms. When talking about composting of bioplastics, usually → industrial composting in a managed composting plant is meant [bM 03/07] Compound | plastic mixture from different raw materials (polymer and additives) [bM 04/10) Copolymer | Plastic composed of different monomers. Cradle-to-Gate | Describes the system boundaries of an environmental →Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) which covers all activities from the ‘cradle’ (i.e., the extraction of raw materials, agricultural activities and forestry) up to the factory gate Cradle-to-Cradle | (sometimes abbreviated as C2C): Is an expression which communicates the concept of a closed-cycle economy, in which waste is used as raw material (‘waste equals food’). Cradle-to-Cradle is not a term that is typically used in →LCA studies. Cradle-to-Grave | Describes the system boundaries of a full →Life Cycle Assessment from manufacture (‘cradle’) to use phase and disposal phase (‘grave’). Crystalline | Plastic with regularly arranged molecules in a lattice structure Density | Quotient from mass and volume of a material, also referred to as specific weight DIN | Deutsches Institut für Normung (German organisation for standardization) DIN-CERTCO | independant certifying organisation for the assessment on the conformity of bioplastics Dispersing | fine distribution of non-miscible liquids into a homogeneous, stable mixture Elastomers | rigid, but under force flexible and elastically formable plastics with rubbery properties EN 13432 | European standard for the assessment of the → compostability of plastic packaging products Energy recovery | recovery and exploitation of the energy potential in (plastic) waste for the production of electricity or heat in waste incineration pants (waste-to-energy) Enzymes | proteins that catalyze chemical reactions Ethylen | colour- and odourless gas, made e.g. from, Naphtha (petroleum) by cracking, monomer of the polymer polyethylene (PE) European Bioplastics e.V. | The industry association representing the interests of Europe’s thriving bioplastics’ industry. Founded in Germany in 1993 as IBAW, European Bioplastics today represents the interests of over 70 member companies throughout the European Union. With members from the agricultural feedstock, chemical and plastics industries, as well as industrial users and recycling companies, European Bioplastics serves as both a contact platform and catalyst for advancing the aims of the growing bioplastics industry. Extrusion | process used to create plastic profiles (or sheet) of a fixed cross-section consisting of mixing, melting, homogenising and shaping of the plastic. Fermentation | Biochemical reactions controlled by → microorganisms or → enyzmes (e.g. the transformation of sugar into lactic acid). FSC | Forest Stewardship Council. FSC is an independent, non-governmental, not-forprofit organization established to promote the responsible and sustainable management of the world’s forests. Gelatine | Translucent brittle solid substance, colorless or slightly yellow, nearly tasteless and odorless, extracted from the collagen inside animals‘ connective tissue. Genetically modified organism (GMO) | Organisms, such as plants and animals, whose genetic material (DNA) has been altered are called genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Food and feed which contain or consist of such GMOs, or are produced from GMOs, are called genetically modified (GM) food or feed [1] Global Warming | Global warming is the rise in the average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere and oceans since the late 19th century and its projected continuation [8]. Global warming is said to be accelerated by → green house gases. Glucose | Monosaccharide (or simple sugar). G. is the most important carbohydrate (sugar) in biology. G. is formed by photosynthesis or hydrolyse of many carbohydrates e. g. starch. Greenhouse gas GHG | Gaseous constituent of the atmosphere, both natural and anthropogenic, that absorbs and emits radiation at specific wavelengths within the spectrum of infrared radiation emitted by the earth’s surface, the atmosphere, and clouds [1, 9] Greenwashing | The act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company, or the environmental benefits of a product or service [1, 10] Granulate, granules | small plastic particles (3-4 millimetres), a form in which plastic is sold and fed into machines, easy to handle and dose. Humus | In agriculture, ‘humus’ is often used simply to mean mature → compost, or natural compost extracted from a forest or other spontaneous source for use to amend soil. Hydrophilic | Property: ‘water-friendly’, soluble in water or other polar solvents (e.g. used in conjunction with a plastic which is not water resistant and weather proof or that absorbs water such as Polyamide (PA). Hydrophobic | Property: ‘water-resistant’, not soluble in water (e.g. a plastic which is water resistant and weather proof, or that does not absorb any water such as Polyethylene (PE) or Polypropylene (PP). IBAW | → European Bioplastics Industrial composting | Industrial composting is an established process with commonly agreed upon requirements (e.g. temperature, timeframe) for transforming biodegradable waste into stable, sanitised products to be used in agriculture. The criteria for industrial compostability of packaging have been defined in the EN 13432. Materials and products complying with this standard can be certified and subsequently labelled accordingly [1, 7] [bM 06/08, bM 02/09] Integral Foam | foam with a compact skin and porous core and a transition zone in between. ISO | International Organization for Standardization JBPA | Japan Bioplastics Association LCA | Life Cycle Assessment (sometimes also referred to as life cycle analysis, ecobalance, and → cradle-to-grave analysis) is the investigation and valuation of the environmental impacts of a given product or service caused. [bM 01/09] Microorganism | Living organisms of microscopic size, such as bacteria, funghi or yeast. Molecule | group of at least two atoms held together by covalent chemical bonds. Monomer | molecules that are linked by polymerization to form chains of molecules and then plastics Mulch film | Foil to cover bottom of farmland PBAT | Polybutylene adipate terephthalate, is an aliphatic-aromatic copolyester that has the properties of conventional polyethylene but is fully biodegradable under industrial composting. PBAT is made from fossil petroleum with first attempts being made to produce it partly from renewable resources [bM 06/09] PBS | Polybutylene succinate, a 100% biodegradable polymer, made from (e.g. bio-BDO) and succinic acid, which can also be produced biobased [bM 03/12]. PC | Polycarbonate, thermoplastic polyester, petroleum based, used for e.g. baby bottles or CDs. Criticized for its BPA (→ Bisphenol-A) content. PCL | Polycaprolactone, a synthetic (fossil based), biodegradable bioplastic, e.g. used as a blend component. PE | Polyethylene, thermoplastic polymerised from ethylene. Can be made from renewable resources (sugar cane via bio-ethanol) [bM 05/10] PET | Polyethylenterephthalate, transparent polyester used for bottles and film bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/13] Vol. 8 51

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